Javanan Magazine attended an event earlier this month at which Hillary Clinton was honored by the Pacific Council on International Policy in Beverly Hills for public service.
The Warren Christopher Public Service Award, named after the former secretary of state who served under her husband, former President Bill Clinton, from 1993 to 1996, honors “the public service of others whose work reflects his distinctive leadership qualities,”according to the Pacific Council,
A lawyer and decorated diplomat, Christopher died in 2011 at the age of 85, having also served as deputy secretary of state during the Carter administration.
He had also been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 1981 for his role in negotiating the release of 52 American hostages held in Iran.
Mickey Kantor, President Clinton’s Commerce secretary, acknowledged the speculation about Hillary Clinton’s future when he introduced her and noted that in 1992, then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton held a fundraiser in the same ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire hotel.
“..we knew Hillary Clinton would be a ground-breaking first lady, but I doubt any of us imagined she would follow in Chris’s footsteps to the State Department,” he said. “And what extraordinary things she would do, tirelessly traveling the globe, patiently working for peace, standing up to the bullies of the world, empowering and inspiring women and girls everywhere.
Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in February after four years of service under the Obama administration, making way for John Kerry.
Mark Nathanson, Vice Chair of the National Chair, Democratic Institute of International Affairs said of Clinton at the ceremony: “As a testament to the universal respect held for Secretary Clinton, when she announced she was stepping down from the state department on Feb 1, 2013, she received wide praise from nearly everyone. The accolades ranged from Eric Shmidt at Google to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, all rated her as a stellar Secretary of State. Even President Obama went on 60 Minutes with her. To paraphrase the President, he said the following on 60 Minutes, ‘Clinton possesses a brand, and in the twenty first century that is as important as diplomacy was in the days of Henry Kissinger.
‘One thing is certain, no one in American politics has her resume; she is every woman: political spouse, mother, lawyer, first lady, senator and secretary of state. She can see Washington and the world through a prison unlike anyone else.
‘Hillary Clinton believes that a human connection matters When she became Secretary, she restored America’s credibility throughout the world.’”
Nasthanson went on to talk about Warren Christopher and the honoring of Clinton: “Besides his family, Chris was most proud of his public service. Therefore, it is so fitting that the board of directors of the Pacific Council on International Policy with the approval of the Christopher family have created the Warren Christopher Public Service Award for the person who is committed to the highest ethical standards and promotion of the common good in international affairs. There is no one on the planet who is more deserving to be named the first recipient of the Warren Christopher Award than Hillary Clinton.”
Clinton thanked Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa while taking the stage.She thanked him for his leadership in Los Angeles and energy and dynamism he brought to the role of mayor, and how that affected the country.
She also expressed her gratitude for Warren Christopher and his family.
She spoke of how Christopher gave her some advice when she took the job as Secretary of State: “Never count on taking a planned vacation, especially in August, because there’s always a crisis in August.”
Christopher, she said, “understood something America’s leaders have to understand and act on: The United States remains a beacon of freedom and opportunity precisely because the American dream has been and must remain open to all.”
Clinton joked about the personal toughness she’s learned during her years in political life. “When I was first lady, they used to say around the White House if the place was a little difficult, they would send me. I spent a lot of time with Chris and his team thinking through what that would mean.”
She has yet to state definitively whether she plans to run for president in 2016.
By Mehdi Zokaei, Editor in Chief, and
James &Farah Shokouhi
Mollywood Hollywood Photography